Romance as a genre functions successfully through emphasizing the need for vicarious emotional satisfaction. Quote me. Rachel McAdams happens to be a finely tuned actress, with an intriguing range and unquestionable edge. She fits in romance well, while her co-star belongs in the memorable burn book for a load of here-unmentionable faults.

Explain to me how the above picture resembles an actor in the slightest. He’s clearly just an action figure on camera.

I mean, we’re all talking about the same guy right? The wooden board from GI Joe and Step Up? Ladies, if you want to see men naked, there are websites for that, and you don’t have to pay the price of an admission ticket. But this weekend is special. Any film that was romance had this weekend in the bag, because it’d be fueled by Valentine’s Day, that wonderful holiday which boosts sales of otherwise minimally sold plant life and chocolate and makes a whole lot of single people feel bad.

 

Of course the plot itself feeds that satisfaction I mentioned earlier in every way. This idea of a guy who’s persistent enough and in love enough to win your heart over again (trashing the idea of true love, ironically, that he even needs to do this) is just a best-seller, so much so that it even beat out the men, who had Safe House this weekend.

Like I said last week, Safe House was a hit-or-miss, and this time—fortunately for Denzel Washington, whose career has been wobbly for a while now—it was the former, managing warm reviews and good audience feedback. However, it didn’t have the capacity to subdue the impact of a holiday like Valentine’s Day, the only one which is catered to one entire gender everything they want.

 

But both of these films placed neatly on top of Star Wars: Episode 1—The Phantom Menace, which was very obviously suppressed by the existence of Jar-Jar. Fans must really, really not like that character to not make their film number one, because as many as there are, it easily could have. The generally accepted perspective of the prequels is no less than inferior and disappointing. The 3-D gimmick can only last so long, and hopefully, audiences are beginning to feel it. Hell, even Journey 2, which had no chance at all, surpassed that competition this weekend.

I foresee that This Means War will take the box office. Even if Reese Witherspoon is far out of her co-stars’ age-range and she appears to have had work done of near Cher-proportions (okay maybe I’m exaggerating a bit), the undeniable star-power of Chris Pine and Tom Hardy will surpass Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

 

Nicholas Cage’s recent string of low-budget redundant independent films are embarrassing (but I don’t feel bad for the guy, a tad for Kal-El, but not him), and it doesn’t help him that all the people that couldn’t or wouldn’t show for a romance flick last weekend get an all new one next weekend. As for The Secret World of Arriety, well, it is bound to remain one well-kept secret, considering it’s a foreign film and got literally no marketing here in the US.

 

TW

Title

Weekend Gross

Total Gross

Week

1

The Vow  

$41,700,000

$41,700,000

1

2

Safe House  

$39,300,000

$39,300,000

1

3

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island  

$27,550,000

$27,550,000

1

4

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (in 3D)  

$23,000,000

$23,000,000

1

5

Chronicle (2012)  

$12,300,000

$40,167,000

2

6

The Woman in Black  

$10,300,000

$35,456,000

2

7

The Grey  

$5,080,000

$42,822,000

3

8

Big Miracle  

$3,900,000

$13,200,000

2

9

The Descendants  

$3,500,000

$70,729,000

13

10

Underworld Awakening  

$2,500,000

$58,900,000

4